In our last post we talked about God being happy when He sees us happy, when we come to Him freely without fear as a child to a loving Daddy God for all our needs, on the rock solid foundation that Jesus has paid for all our wrongs and qualified us for every blessing.
The next thing I learnt as a Christian about what makes God happy: God is happy when we agree with Him, and follow His ways.
Aha! There, that’s the obedience part isn’t it? To do what God says to do – feed the hungry and the poor, and help the needy?
Wait – let’s pause and think for a minute. What does it really mean to agree with someone, and to follow their ways? It’s not so much doing what they say, but saying the same thing as they say, and doing what they do.
Again, parents would know – parents are most proud when their child starts copying what they say, and copying what they do. When the child walks the same walk as the parent, and talk the same talk, that’s the time the proud mum and dad beam and say, “That’s my boy! That’s my girl!”
So let’s see, what does God say? And what does God do?
In the very beginning, at the start of the Bible, when God created the heavens and the earth, God saw the darkness and He said, “Light, be!” And light was. Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand”, and to the man lying paralysed “Take up your bed and walk” – and the impossible only happened after He spoke. God called those things that were not as though they were, in faith, and they became reality.
What else does God say?
He says, to those who do not yet believe on Jesus: “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). He says: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). He says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
There’s no list of things to do, no caveats, no disclaimers. Just call upon the name of Jesus and believe in Him, and be saved. Eternally.
He says, of those who believe on Jesus: “He shall say, ‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength'” (Isaiah 45:24). He says: “your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12). He says: “He (has) made us accepted in the Beloved, …having made known to us the mystery of His will, (and)…in Him also we have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:6, 9, 11).
Christians, are we saying the same things as God is saying today? God has made us the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Are we saying that of ourselves? Or we still calling ourselves lousy sinners? God is a God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17). Are we speaking life and faith visions over our situations, or are we just saying what we see?
Now let’s take a look at what God does. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). So it’d be safe to say that looking at what Jesus did when He walked on earth would be a good gauge of what God does and what God wants for us, yes?
Well, here’s a summarised list of what Jesus did: He opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped deaf ears, healed all who were sick and came to Him, raised the dead, and cast out demons. Oh, and He multiplied food so that it was always way more than enough to feed whoever was there. He met every single need. Every time.
Ohh-kay. Sounds like a really tough act to follow. No wonder then that many churches today prefer to preach and teach healing, blessings, and miracles “according to God’s will”. Meaning if it doesn’t happen for you, it’s probably not God’s will. That’s a very safe path to take, but it’s simply not true. Jesus Himself said very clearly that He has given us the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and NO THING shall by any means hurt us (Luke 10:19).
Jesus died to give us a limitless and abundant life, not an average and just-get-by-with-His-grace life. Let’s honour the magnitude of what He did.
It’s time to step into the inheritance that God has for us and live victoriously by copying His talk and copying His ways, bringing life and dismissing darkness and defeat in all our situations. All the pressure and expectations lift off us when we realise that we don’t heal, comfort, deliver or do anything He did out of our own power, but by His.
So what about helping the poor and needy?
Yes, we will help the poor and needy, but please understand, God will never ask us to do something that He hasn’t already given the desire and the ability for (Philippians 2:13). He doesn’t want us to help others out of our own strength, which is so fallible and limited, but out of His, which is ever-flowing and will always hit the mark. And we can only love much when we realise that we have been forgiven much (Luke 7:47).
It may be that you don’t have a passion for going into third-world countries to do missions. God may have instead gifted you and given you a passion for administration, for worship, for being a stay-home mum, for spreading His word through creative means, for blessing others through being a successful worker or leader in your field. Every joint and member has a purpose and is important.
As Christians, we need to stop having the notion that we need to do right to be right with God, or that our serving has any bearing on God blessing us – healing us, saving our child, protecting us from danger and harm, prospering our work and finances, or bringing any good into our life. Just as salvation was received freely as a gift, so is every other blessing from God. It’s been paid for by the blood of Jesus, and it’s yours to receive.
So let’s start to agree with God and copy Him, and let God be God, entirely, in our lives – in us, through us, and for us. No one rejoices more than Him when we reign in life and we do good effortlessly, without fear of punishment or judgement if we stop doing it.
It starts by getting to know Jesus and finding out what He has done for you.
Because when we encounter Jesus, we encounter grace.